Secretary of Labor and Industry Highlights Pittsburgh Apprenticeship Program Preparing Pennsylvanians for IT Careers


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Department of Labor and Industry (L&I) Secretary Jennifer Berrier visited a Pittsburgh-based apprenticeship program on Monday, June 13 that provides on-demand job training to Pennsylvanians interested in computer science careers.

Fortyx80 is a registered apprenticeship program that enables individuals to learn job-related skills in a learning environment while earning, allowing apprentices to earn nationally recognized credentials to help them in their careers while strengthening the Commonwealth workforce.

“Advancements in technology can change the needs of entire industries. Apprenticeship programs, like Fortyx80’s, give apprentices the opportunity to earn while they learn and enter the workforce directly once that they’re done,” Berrier said. “Providing an alternative education system that adapts to economic changes will support public and private sector innovation as STEM needs grow in western Pennsylvania and throughout the Commonwealth.”

Fortyx80, the nonprofit arm of the Pittsburgh Technology Council, was founded in 2014 to provide opportunities for non-traditional job seekers to learn the skills needed to enter the IT field. Regional businesses are supporting Fortyx80’s initiative through workforce development and STEM education opportunities for underrepresented groups, with grants from foundations, the Department of Community and Economic Development of the United States. Palestinian Authority, Education Enhancement Tax Credits and the Pittsburgh Technology Council.

The software analyst apprenticeship requires 2,480 hours of curriculum, with 25 students expected in the first year of enrollment. Apprentices learn the fundamentals of software development and coding languages ​​through on-the-job training and receive industry certifications upon completion of the program.


Established in 2016, L&I’s Office of Apprenticeship and Training (ATO) supports and expands registered apprenticeship programs statewide. As part of Governor Tom Wolf’s PAsmart Framework, the office provides outreach, education, and technical support services to current and potential apprenticeship program sponsors and apprentices. The ATO aims to extend the apprenticeship model to non-traditional occupations and ensure apprenticeship opportunities are available for underrepresented communities across the Commonwealth. The ATO currently supports over 17,000 active apprentices, nearly 5,000 new apprentices and over 1,500 occupation-specific active apprenticeship schemes across the Commonwealth.

The Wolf administration has invested $28 million directly in apprenticeship programs in Pennsylvania since 2018, focused on increasing college education in computer science, science, technology, engineering, and math to strengthen Pennsylvania’s workforce. Pennsylvania. Latest round of grants supports apprenticeship programs with a focus on diverse talent pools and underserved populations, non-traditional occupations, and alignment with secondary and post-secondary institutions for careers in agriculture, manufacturing, healthcare, IT, education, human resources. services, building trades, etc. Governor Wolf’s 2022-23 budget proposal includes an additional $7 million investment for apprenticeships.

L&I estimates that, on average, apprentices earn a starting salary of $70,000 per year after graduation and are on track to earn $300,000 more than other workers over their career. Almost nine out of 10 apprentices are employed after completing their apprenticeship. For every dollar spent on learning, employers recoup an average of $1.47 in increased productivity.

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